Stephanie Engel

Dr. Stephanie Engel is a psychiatrist in private practice and a consultant in the field of global mental health.  

Recent Articles

‘Where's Papa Going with that Axe?’ Reading Charlotte’s Web in the Age of Trump

E.B. White’s barnyard fable remains a striking symbol of social justice in Trump’s America.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons Cover of the first edition of Charlotte's Web . C harlotte’s Web and I came into the world in the same year: 1952. That was the year that a hotel in Las Vegas drained its “whites-only” pool after Sammy Davis Jr. swam in it. Charlie Chaplin was denied re-entry into the U.S. after a trip to England because of suspected communist sympathies and reportedly said that he would not go back “even if Jesus Christ was the president.” The women’s movement in the U.S. was not yet in sight although Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex had been published three years earlier. Seven years after its publication, I read the book. The impact, after cutting my literary teeth on books featuring banal and goody-goody children like Dick and Jane and The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew , was profound and lasting. Fern, the feisty little girl who, in the very first chapter, physically assaults her father to prevent him from going out to the barn with an ax to kill the runt piglet who will...